This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore Recipe is a hearty, veggie-packed meal ready in just 20 minutes! It features tender chicken, onion, carrot, bell pepper, and mushroom doused in a savory tomato sauce.

above image of a plate filled with chicken cacciatore over rice with a gold fork.

Easy Recipe for Chicken Cacciatore

This Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore Recipe is one of my go-to easy dinners when I’m craving something quick and easy but still hearty and delicious!

This recipe yields tender chicken that is truly the kind that will fall right off the bone and tons of veggies, all cooked in the most mouthwatering tomato sauce. It’s savory, sweet, spicy, tangy, salty…there isn’t a flavor you’re missing in this dish, yet it all works together perfectly!

Whip this up for a crowd (it makes a ton) OR pack up the leftovers and enjoy it for dinner all week long!

What is Chicken Cacciatore?

Chicken cacciatore, sometimes referred to as “hunter-style chicken,” is a traditional Italian dish made up of braised chicken simmered in a flavorful tomato-based sauce. It often features hearty veggies such as onion, carrot, pepper, and mushroom and sometimes includes briny flavors such as capers, olives, and vinegar!

This recipe is just like your traditional chicken cacciatore but made more quickly in the instant pot!

above image of instant pot chicken cacciatore topped with fresh herbs.

Ingredients Needed

  • Chicken – Chicken legs or thighs will work.
  • Salt and Pepper – You’ll use salt and pepper to season the chicken before cooking. You’ll also add it at the end to round out all the flavors of the sauce.
  • Oil – A little bit of avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil is used to sear the chicken and to sauté the veggies.
  • Veggies – Our colorful veggie blend is a combination of onion, carrots, red pepper, and mushrooms.
  • Aromatics and Seasonings – We’re creating the most delicious savory flavor with a combination of garlic, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, fresh basil, and bay leaf.
  • Chicken Broth – Chicken broth creates the most flavorful base for the tomato sauce.
  • Tomatoes – You’ll need two cans of Tuttorosso diced tomatoes in juice. One you’ll blend up for the sauce and the other you’ll leave as-is for texture.
  • Fresh Herbs – A sprinkle of fresh parsley and thyme adds the perfect freshness to the dish.
  • Balsamic Vinegar – Balsamic vinegar adds a sweet, tangy, briny flavor that really takes the sauce to the next level.

How to Make Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore

  1. Sear the chicken: Pat the chicken dry, season it well with salt and pepper, then set the pressure cooker to the sauté setting at high heat. Drizzle in the oil, then sear the chicken on each side until golden-brown. Work in batches and add oil as needed. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  2. Combine and cook: To the instant pot, add onion, carrot, pepper, and mushroom. Sauté until softened; stir in garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes, followed by the bay leaf, chicken broth, tomatoes, thyme, parsley, and balsamic. Add the chicken back into the pot, cover it with the lid, and cook it on high pressure for 12 minutes.
  3. Finish and serve: Once cooked, release the pressure using the quick-release valve. Remove the lid, season with salt and pepper, then remove the bay leaf from the mixture. Garnish with fresh parsley, then serve as desired.

Alternative Method: Stovetop Chicken Cacciatore

No pressure cooker? No problem! You can easily make this recipe on the stove instead. Simply follow steps 1 and 2 as directed using a large braising pan or Dutch oven, cover, lower the heat to medium-low, then simmer until the chicken is tender (90-100 minutes).

closeup image of chicken pieces in a tomato sauce topped with fresh herbs.

How Much Liquid Do I Add to the Instant Pot for Chicken?

That usually depends on the recipe, the size of your instant pot, and the amount of chicken you’re cooking. For this recipe, we’re adding 1 cup of broth plus the liquid from both cans of tomatoes. This ensures that the chicken cooks properly but also provides a flavorful base for the sauce!

Why Does My Instant Pot Chicken Come Out Rubbery?

Rubbery instant pot chicken usually means under cooked chicken. I recommend sticking to the cooking times listed to be sure you’re producing chicken that tenderly falls apart.

To verify that your chicken is definitely done cooking, you can check the internal temperature using a meat thermometer. It should be 165ºF!

a large bowl filled with chicken in a tomato-based sauce.

Tips and Notes

  • Pat the chicken dry. Removing excess moisture from the chicken allows it to take on that nice crispy exterior when you sear it.
  • Work in batches to sear. In order to sear properly, you’ll need to work in batches—just do as many as will fit comfortably in your instant pot. Be sure to add extra oil as needed so that every piece of chicken is getting the perfect sear.
  • Scrape up the brown bits as you cook. As the veggies sauté, use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any bits that might be sticking to the bottom of the instant pot. Instant pots tend to be sensitive to that and you might get a burn notice if you don’t keep up with it.
  • If you like a thicker sauce, remove the chicken once it’s done cooking, then simmer the sauce on the sauté setting until your desired texture is reached.


  • Try another protein. Try swapping the chicken out for pork or beef if preferred. Keep in mind that the cooking time for different meats will vary.
  • Add cheese. Try sprinkling your chicken cacciatore with some fresh parmesan to finish it off.
  • Add some briny flavors. A lot of traditional chicken cacciatore recipes include olives and/or capers. Feel free to stir in a scoop of capers or a handful of sliced black, green, or kalamata olives to tap into that salty, briny flavor.

What Pairs Well with Chicken Cacciatore?

Chicken cacciatore is a versatile entree that can be served a number of different ways!

Enjoy it spooned over:

Serve it with a side of:

chicken cacciatore served over a pile of white rice.

How to Store

Leftover chicken cacciatore will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To freeze properly, let it cool completely, portion it out into freezer-safe bags or containers, then store. When you’re ready to serve it again, let only the amount you need thaw overnight in the fridge.

To reheat, warm on low on the stove with a splash of broth or water to thin if needed until heated through.

More Instant Pot Recipes to Try

Watch the Video!

Pin this recipe to save it for later!

Pin it!
above image of a plate filled with chicken cacciatore over rice with a gold fork.

Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore

4.84 from 6 votes
This Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore Recipe is a hearty, veggie-packed meal that's ready in just 20 minutes! It features tender chicken, onion, carrot, bell pepper, and mushroom doused in a savory tomato sauce.
Servings 6
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes


  • 8 chicken legs and/or thighs
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt use more as necessary for coating chicken and seasoning at the end
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper use more as necessary for coating chicken and seasoning at the end
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion sliced into thin strips
  • 3 carrots minced
  • 1 red pepper diced medium
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms trimmed and sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoon fresh basil chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 14.5 oz can Tuttorosso diced tomatoes in juice
  • 14.5 oz can Tuttorosso diced tomatoes in juice pulsed in a food processor or blender
  • 2 tablespoons freshly parsley plus more to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar


  • Pat chicken dry and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Set the pressure cooker to the saute setting at high heat. Add in oil. Working in batches sear chicken until golden brown, about five minutes on each side, adding more oil as necessary. The chicken should not be fully cooked at this stage but the skin should be nicely browned. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.
  • Add onion, carrots, peppers, and mushrooms to the pressure cooker and saute until vegetables are soft, scrapping up browned bits, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add bay leaf, chicken broth, tomatoes, fresh thyme, fresh parsley, and balsamic vinegar. Return chicken to pressure cooker and press into tomatoes until they are mostly covered.
  • Place lid on pressure cooker and lock in place. Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. Release pressure using quick release valve and remove lid. Remove bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (If a thicker sauce is desired, you can remove the chicken to a plate and simmer sauce until it is the desired thickness. Do this before seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.)
  • Garnish with parsley and serve over rice, cauliflower rice, or gluten-free pasta.


* Don’t have a pressure cooker, cook this on the stovetop as well using Nanny’s Potted Chicken on page 160 of the Lexi’s Clean Kitchen Cookbook as a reference! In a large braising pan or Dutch oven, follow steps 1-2 as directed, cover, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 90-100 minutes.


Calories: 410kcalCarbohydrates: 9.8gProtein: 42.6gFat: 21.6gSaturated Fat: 5.9gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 950mgFiber: 2.8gSugar: 4.8g
Author: Lexi

You May Also Like

Secrets to Quick Dinners
Get my practical tips & advice for a healthier life dropped right into your inbox!
newsletter collage

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. It turned out awesome, lots of flavors, easy to make. Used Bone-Less Chicken Thighs and cooked for 10 minutes instead of 12 minutes.

    Served over Instant Pot Brown Rice.

    I might thicken the sauce a little next time I make the dish our use less chicken broth. Still Simple and Delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I skipped fresh basil because I didn’t have any, and used dried thyme instead of fresh thyme. Added some ghost pepper hot sauce before eating for a spicy kick. Will definitely make this again!

  3. 4 stars
    So good but the total cook time was way off. If you brown the chicken in batches at 5 min for each side, and you have 8 thighs so 2 batches, that’s 20 minutes right there. If you do drumsticks then it’s 40 minutes.

  4. 5 stars
    Great recipe Lexi! I made this in a dutch oven on the stove, and used only 1 can of tomatoes and 1/2 cup broth. So good!

  5. 5 stars
    Just made this tonight. I am a new instant pot user (got it for Christmas) and am still struggling with letting go of my crock pot. However, this recipe is helping me move on! The prep time is lengthy but we’ll worth it! I used boneless skinless chicken thighs and cooked for 15 min. The chicken was fork tender, just the way I like it. The sauce tasted like it had simmered for hours and super savory! So glad I tried this!!

  6. 5 stars
    This is one of my favorite recipes. I could eat the whole pot! As a breastfeeding mom I’m always looking for filling recipes and this is it.

  7. TY Lexi! This recipe is totally a WINNER! I used SLBL Chicken Breast and a little more lb wise that you did but so perfect! OMG I LOVED the flavor esp using fresh basil and thyme! TYSM This will be repeated
    Pete O’Neil

  8. The flavor of this dish is really great! The only negative is that there was a lot of liquid, so next time I would maybe cut back on the chicken broth or blended tomato.

  9. This recipe was delicious. I didn’t have any thyme, but it had plenty of flavor without it. Even if you don’t usually use thighs, I encourage you to follow the recipe. The chicken was so tender and tasty and fell right off the bone. Even my kids 2 and 4 who usually refuse all chicken except for dinosaur nuggets ate it all up. I served with mashed potatoes .

  10. I threw everything in to my slow cooker before heading to work today. My husband texted me to tell me how fantastic the house smelled. I ate a huge bowl over brown rice. We have left overs for lunch tomorrow. . Thank you!

  11. Good morning! I made this last night and it was a hit! The flavor was AMAZING! It was barely enough for a family of five. I saved the leftover juices and veggies and I’m going to mix it with quinoa and baked leftover Brussels sprouts, for lunch today! One note, it takes a lot longer than 10 min. to prep and 20 to cook!. The actually cookin grime WAS 20, but remember the pot has to heat up!? Next time, I’ll give myself a little more time to cook it! Thank you, ma’am, for another fantastic recipe!?

  12. This is really Good. I have served it on gluten free pasta and now Quinoa too. It is delicious. Thank you for posting. I really love InstaPot recipes so much.